Train service from Chicago to St. Louis is going to have schedule changes beginning later this month thanks to increased speeds and decreased travel times.

$2 billion Investment in high-speed rail completed

After years of contruction and testing that cost nearly $2 billion, Amtrak's Lincoln Service will have new departure and arrival times between Union Station in Chicago and the Gateway Station in St. Louis, Missouri.

According to the press release from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the project "has boosted reliability and safety while providing upgraded and new stations."

The railway has always been a vital component of our state’s infrastructure, but today we are taking a major step in modernizing rail services. The new high-speed schedule will allow Illinoisans to get around faster while still enjoying the comforts of Amtrak -Illinois Senator Dick Durbin

"Major safety upgrades" were made to 212 train crossings that now all have four-quandrant gates and loop detectors that prevent vehicles that become stuck on the tracks from being hit.

Upgrades and New Train Stations Added Throughout the State

Besides completed contruction to the rail lines that will make travel safer and more efficient, four new Amtrak stations were opened in Dwight, Pontiac, Carlinville and Alton, Illinois.

Springfield, Normal, and Lincoln train stations were renovated during the project and "a new multimodal station in Joliet was completed in 2018, with a second phase starting in 2021," according to the press release.

There were 39 train crossing in Illinois that permanently closed because they were deemed "at-risk."

New Locomotives and Rail Cars are Being Added

33 new locomotives have been added to the Amtrak fleet as of 2017 and they're currently working with other midwestern states to add 88 new single-level passenger cars that will be used in the region.

When Will Speeds Increase to 110 MPH on the Lincoln Service

As of June 26, top speeds on Amtrak's Lincoln Service "Missouri River Runner" between Chicago and St. Louis will be increased to 110 MPH which will "eliminate approximately 15 minutes from existing 90 mph runtimes and 30 minutes from the initial 79 mph schedule," according to the press release.

From saving residents precious time to improving the reliability and safety of our transit system, this milestone makes it clear to the rest of the nation that Illinois is a leader in transportation, infrastructure, and innovation. -Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker

To see the Lincoln Service Missouri River Runner schedule, CLICK HERE.

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